Amarillo Transit Department looking to add benches, shelters to more bus stops

Local News

Amarillo, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo’s Transportation Department is looking to make some upgrades to bus stops.

Amarillo’s Transit Director, Marita Wellage-Reily, taking the podium at Tuesday’s work session speaking with the city council on adding benches and shelters to more stops on the transit system.

“We are in the process of completing a $1.5 million project to install shelters and, and benches,” said Marita Wellage-Reiley. “Our current project will install 13 benches and shelters and have made sidewalk improvements.”

They are looking to do more.

The below graph is from the transit department showing the 101 total projects they are wanting to accomplish. They just don’t have the funding to do them.

“The first part of the process of installing any shelter is to do the engineering work because they have to be made ADA accessible,” Wellage-Reiley. “All new stops must be ADA made accessible, and most of the time it requires quite a bit of concrete work which is very expensive.”

As for funding, Wellage-Reiley said she hopes that there may be federal help if the infrastructure bill passes.

“I have visited with Rep. Jackson, and he has told me that he will not vote for the infrastructure bill. So I’ve told him that as far as the city is concerned, it meets a lot of the needs that we have,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “He [Rep. Jackson] told me that he will not be voting for it. So as far as constituents are concerned, I think it’s helpful for him to hear from not just city leaders, but also city voters, that these are the kinds of projects we can’t afford to fund at our current tax rate.”

We asked Rep. Jackson if he would vote for the bill, and his answer was:

“I support serious efforts to improve America’s infrastructure, but I owe it to taxpaying constituents to demand a renegotiated bill that isn’t filled with liberal wish list items. I will not support the radical left’s efforts to tear this country down,” said Rep. Jackson.

You can watch the full discussion from the work session below:

Another transit note. The city council approved a resolution accepting two federal grants totaling $7.3 million to design and build a multimodal transit hub just west of downtown.

Federal matching funds for the grants include $1.2 million from the AEDC, and the value of land where the hub will be that was donated by Downtown Amarillo Inc.

That passenger terminal would serve the Amarillo City Transit, Greyhound, and other local transportation providers.

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